Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Ekachai turns on 'Pleasure Factory'

New feature film produced by his newly set up Spicy Apple Films has been shot entirely in Geylang. InnoForm has secured the film’s domestic rights.

Award-winning writer/director Ekachai Uekrongtham (Beautiful Boxer) has wrapped principal photography of his new Mandarin feature Pleasure Factory, produced by his newly set up Singapore-based Spicy Apple Films.

Slated for release in local cinemas after the 2nd Quarter of 2007, the film is written and directed by Uekrongtham. It’s the first production to have been shot entirely on actual locations in Geylang, Singapore's well-known red light district.

InnoForm Media has come on board as co-investor for the film and holds the film's domestic rights. World sales for international territories will be handled by an international sales agent, details of which will be separately announced.

Inspired by true stories and real-life characters, Pleasure Factory tells an intimate, intriguing and seductive tale involving pleasure seekers and pleasure providers in Geylang.

It started with Red Bull

Uekrongtham, who is also the founder and artistic director of local theatre company ACTION Theatre, stepped into Geylang the first time when he was a management trainee with a trading firm. "I was handing out free sample bottles of Red Bull to prostitutes and their customers. As I walked through the dark alleys of Geylang night after night, I felt repulsed, intrigued, fascinated and strangely moved - in that order."

Adds Uekrongtham, "With Pleasure Factory, I'd like to strip bare the shields that prevent characters in the film from experiencing true pleasure.”

Stars of Ang Lee's classic and Thailand's horror hit clock in

Pleasure Factory stars Golden Horse Best Actress Yang Kuei-Mei (Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman, Tsai Ming-Liang's The Wayward Cloud) and Ananda Everingham (Thai horror smash hit Shutter) alongside a cast of fresh talents found through street casting in Geylang and around Singapore.

Yang plays a pleasure provider who witnesses a young girl being inducted into the pleasure manufacturing process. Everingham plays an expatriate art director who roams the streets of Geylang after an unexpected encounter at a road-side Mama store.

The film's Director of Photography is Brian Gothong Tan, hailed as one of the most exciting multi-media artists to have emerged from Singapore. Pleasure Factory represents the second time Uekrongtham and Tan has collaborated. The two first worked together on a stage production in 2002.

Uekrongtham's internationally acclaimed feature film debut Beautiful Boxer, based on the life of Thailand's famed transsexual kickboxer, has won 15 international awards to date. It has also been sold to more than 30 countries and invited to over 100 film festivals around the world.

InnoForm Media's General Manager Lim Teck says, "We are very happy to be part of this production, and has utmost faith in Ekachai to deliver a good movie. We are always on the lookout to be involved in good projects, and this film is certainly a very promising one.”

InnoForm is also co-producing a Mandarin horror comedy Men In White with Singapore director Kelvin Tong's Boku Films. Next month, it’ll release local comedian Jack Neo's new social satire Just Follow Law in local cinemas.

Spicy Apple Films is currently developing a new set-in-Singapore Mandarin feature inspired by a true story of a father who advertises for sons-in-law, and a Thai-Singapore supernatural thriller to be shot in Singapore and Thailand.

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